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Strange Mites Invading! Help!

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by Erica Canmore on August 10, 2006 05:48 PM
I have a plant - not sure what kind - thats got thick leaves and nobody can identify if for me. Its beautiful but its always had a white, almost moldy substance around the new leaves. It isnt there all the time but it always comes back. Suddenly, I have these small white circle insects all over all of my plants. Even ones that are across the room! They also have this white moldy stuff on them now as well. They are taking over and killing off all my plants. Ive tried a spray that is supposed to be for mites, insects, and fungus but its not working. Does anyone have any idea what they are? They are on the leaves, the buds and even the bark area of my fiscus. They killed my herbs in just one day. ahhhhh. help!!

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by Eniisa on August 10, 2006 07:53 PM
Can you take a picture?
by Erica Canmore on August 11, 2006 12:50 PM
Here are some pictures. One is of the mystery plant (I think a rubber of some kind) and the other is of the mites. They are the small white things on the leaf and stem. Any ideas??

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by DowntoEarth on August 11, 2006 04:55 PM
Whew, those darn pest can be brutal! [Eek!]

The plant looks to be a Peperomia obtusifolia, The white things look like mealy bugs to me, it could also have spidermites as well, I see a couple of very fine webs.The fungus stuff could be from honey dew the pest secrete if it's also sticky as well.

I am far from an expert on bug control, but have had success with a couple things you can try. Maybe others can offer some other salutions as well.

If this was my plant, I would take it outside and cut many of the stems amd leaves back, and all of the damaged ones, then spray the WHOLE plant (cover soil) using one of those spray bottles. Pour about an inch or two of rubbing alcohol, the rest water, or, mix up some semi soapy water, then spray, spray, spray! Make sure you get under the leaves too.
You will probably have to do the spray thing every week for a few weeks. If you miss any of pest, they can come back.
Be careful! These pest can spread very easily to other plants by hands and clothes.

You might end up with a small plant and maybe need to downsize the roots some and pot, but at least it will have a chance to be healthy again.

Good Luck!
by Erica Canmore on August 13, 2006 07:09 AM
Thank you So much. Ill give it a try. Ive already tried the soapy water thing, so Ill try the alcohol spray and cut it back. Do you know the common name for the plant?? Thanks again for your help.

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by DowntoEarth on August 13, 2006 08:40 AM
Your welcome!

You got the rubber part right [Wink] They are sometimes called a baby rubber plant.

Make sure it's not in any direct sun when spraying, wait until it's dry, or the leaves can turn white. I have a cactus I sprayed a couple years back that's half white and half green!
[Big Grin]


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